At Christ the King Parish, Cantonments-Accra, on the 4th Sunday of Advent, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Andrew Campbell, SVD marked his Golden Jubilee celebration of working in the Lord’s Vineyard as a Divine Word Missionary Priest.
The thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration was concelebrated by three (3) Catholic bishops: The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie CSSp, Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer Buckle and the Bishop of Koforidua, Most Rev. Joseph Kwaku Afrifa Agyekum. The former Anglican Bishop of Accra, Most Rev. Justice Ofei Akrofi was also present to grace the occasion.
In his homily, Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle said “the special intention of the mass is to join Very. Rev. Fr. Andrew Nii Lantey Campbell, SVD of Akoto Lante to thank God for his Golden Jubilee.” The homilist asked a rhetorical question: “Whether we are truly prepared for the coming of Christ to enter into our lives, our homes, and our society and through you and me as channels to enter into the world to bring salvation to all of humanity.”
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said Christians should spend the last days of the Advent season in the preparedness of the Lord through prayer and fasting, coupled with confessions and to prepare gifts for people in need. “The ultimate message of Advent is to prepare a way for the Lord into your heart, into your life, for the Lord Jesus to dwell there.”
He added that the answer is found in the personality of Mother Mary as a model in her preparedness for the Lord are summed up in her final response to the Angel Gabriel “Behold I am the maidservant of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word”.
The Archbishop of Cape Coast, who is also a very close friend to Fr. Andrew Campbell further stated that we need to prepare for God’s service word like Mary who lived in the fear of the Lord, she meditated on the word of the Lord, and she waited for the fulfillment of God’s word. She also lived her preparation in virginal purity and chastity and was a woman of deep faith, serving in humility.
The Superior General of the SVD, in consultation with the Provincial Superior wrote a congratulatory message from Rome to Fr. Campbell. The message, which was read to all present by the Provincial Superior of the Ghana-Liberia Province, acknowledged the work and support of Fr. Campbell to the marginalized and destitute in Ghana for all these years.
A citation, chasuble with a stole and the bouquet were also presented to Fr. Campbell by the Parish Pastoral Council and the Vocation Committee respectively.
The principal celebrant, Rev. Fr. Campbell, in a special way welcomed all lepers and street children who graced the occasion.
Friends of the Soup Kitchen and the Cured Lepers from Weija Leprosarium could not afford to miss the 50th Anniversary. They were present to celebrate with their founder. Since 1977, Fr. Andrew Campbell, SVD has been helping to solicit funds to improve the lives of Cured lepers in Weija, Ho, Ankaful, Kokofu, Nkanchina, and the Upper West region.
The soup kitchen founded by Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, SVD on January 17, 2016, with the objectives to protect, provide and care for the homeless and the poor has provided over 45,000 meals for street children since its foundation. During the COVID 19 lockdown in Ghana, he fed thousands of homeless for three week period.
Fr. Campbell is a founding member of Help Age Ghana and also founded the first-day care center at Derby-Avenue, Accra. He founded the Sacred Heart Technical Institute at James Town, extended the St. John Bosco Roman Catholic School and renovated the Kordiabe Roman Catholic. He has and continues to provide tuition fees for hundreds of needy children.
Juliette Manomey // Depsocom Accra